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Bachelor of Health Science

About this course

The Bachelor of Health Science offers students the choice of pursuing a major in either speech pathology or podiatry. The course aims to educate students to become knowledgeable, skilled, empathetic, ethical and innovative professionals who are able to provide effective assessment and intervention for people of different ages, who exhibit health disorders.

It enables students to develop an understanding of the theoretical and practical components of podiatry or speech pathology, with a focus on both general and specialist knowledge and skills. The course shares components with existing SCU degrees such as the Bachelor of Occupational Therapy, Bachelor of Clinical Sciences and Bachelor of Sport and Exercise Science.

The course is taught by dedicated professionals, both academic and clinical, with a wide range of work experience.

Career opportunities

Depending on the major chosen, this course prepares graduates for entry into either professional podiatry practice or professional speech pathology practice (subject to course accreditation).

Podiatrists can work individually or as part of a team, in a wide range of settings, and with clients of all ages. The majority of podiatry employment is in private practice, but podiatrists have the opportunity to work in community health settings; hospitals; with specialised health teams such as diabetic care; to provide health promotion and education; to undertake research; and work with children, athletes and older people. With further education and training, podiatrists can apply for membership of the Australasian College of Podiatric Surgeons to practice as a podiatric surgeon.

Speech Pathologists usually work in community settings, including private practice, community health centres, nursing homes, the client’s own home, and in hospitals. They might work with interdisciplinary teams in acute or rehabilitation hospitals, in school classroom-based speech pathology intervention, training educators and parents to implement specialist programs, or with other specialists to assess and treat speech and language disorders.

Professional recognition

Southern Cross University is undertaking accreditation for this course from the Australian and New Zealand Podiatry Accreditation Council (ANZPAC) and from Speech Pathology Australia (the national professional and accrediting body).

Subject to the above accreditation, graduates of the Bachelor of Health Science with the Podiatry major will be able to seek national registration as podiatry practitioners with the Podiatry Board of Australia.

Students and graduates of the Bachelor of Health Science Speech Pathology major are eligible for membership of Speech Pathology Australia (SPA), the national professional and accrediting body.

The Bachelor of Health Science was introduced in 2013 and the accreditation process is expected to be completed by mid-2016.

Professional placement

Students will complete approximately 1000 hours of professional placement in various settings throughout the four years of study.

Major areas of study

Students select one of the following majors:

Podiatry is a branch of health care devoted to the study, diagnosis and treatment of disorders of the foot, ankle and lower leg. Within the field of podiatry, practitioners can focus on many different specialty areas, including surgery, sports medicine, biomechanics, geriatrics, paediatrics, orthopaedics and primary care. This major prepares graduates for entry into professional podiatry practice.

Speech Pathology prepares students for entry into professional speech pathology practice. Speech pathologists assess and treat communication and swallowing disorders in children and adults exhibiting acquired or congenital disorders of speech, fluency, voice, language and swallowing.

Assessment methods

Assessment methods vary for each unit and may include multiple choice and essay style examinations, scenario-based case studies, tutorial workshop presentations, written assignments and practical skills testing.

Teaching methods

On-campus students experience a variety of teaching approaches including lectures, tutorials, online activities and video-linked or podcast virtual classes. The method of teaching may vary from unit to unit.

Advanced standing

Your previous learning experiences relevant to one or more units in this course may help you reduce the duration of your degree.

  • Recognition of formal and non-formal learning
    Credit may be awarded to a student for formal learning (gained through full or partial achievement of an accredited qualification or course) or non-formal learning (that takes place through a non-accredited course or program of learning) completed at Southern Cross University or in other learning settings in Australia and/or overseas.
  • Recognition of informal learning
    Credit may be awarded on the basis of current informal learning (that takes place through work, social, family or leisure activities).

To help you identify how much credit you may receive for your related prior learning visit SCU Pathways.

An application for advanced standing must be submitted so we can assess your prior learning. Please apply for advanced standing at the same time as you apply for admission into this course, because the amount of credit awarded will determine the sequence of units you will study.

 Go to course structure to see if specific advanced standing rules also apply to this course.

Learning support

Learning resources

MySCU is a student's point of entry to a range of online services and resources that support study and student life. The portal includes unit learning sites and information sites where students can access resources, communication tools and useful links that are integral to their studies.

The web-based study environment Blackboard Learn delivers an advanced online learning environment for students and lecturers to communicate and collaborate through virtual meeting spaces, classrooms, and discussion boards. They can share files, presentations and applications. If a tutorial or lecture is recorded, students can view it afterwards.

Learning materials include the provision of unit information guides, study guides and readings. Students may need to purchase or access prescribed text books.

The SCU Library provides a wide range of services that include face-to-face and online help, and access to print and electronic resources. To find out more, see the Library Toolbox.

The Academic Skills team supports student learning by offering online and on-campus academic skills workshops, assignment reviews and small group or one-on-one face-to-face, phone or Skype consultations during business hours 9am to 4.30pm. Appointments can be made via the MySCU Hub ‘Connect Now’ button or on the Academic Skills home page. Students can also book appointments online in Career Hub.

The YourTutor service provides online after-hours study support for SCU students. This service is available from 4pm to midnight Sunday to Friday via the 'Connect Now' button on MySCU Hub or from a link in nominated unit learning sites. The YourTutor service offers generic writing feedback and live online chat assistance for foundational concepts and study skills.

Equipment and facilities

Southern Cross University provides students with modern well equipped teaching spaces such as lecture theatres, classrooms, and studios or laboratories tailored to meet the needs of specific study disciplines. Contemporary audiovisual equipment is standard in most teaching venues, and students have access to computer labs for individual study purposes.

Students undertaking the Podiatry major have access to state-of-the art facilities, teaching areas and teaching and learning resources including simulation equipment, clinical learning spaces within on-campus clinics, anatomy and physiology laboratories and motor control laboratories.

Students undertaking the Speech Pathology major have access to modern laboratories, enabling quality learning experiences for anatomy, physiology and neurology. They use a language laboratory equipped with innovative software for recording and analysing voice and speech and undertake clinical practicums in on-campus clinics that provide services for the community, as well as an environment that allows for learning in simulated conditions.

Course structure

See the University’s Rules Relating to Awards, in conjunction with the Specific Award Rules listed below.

Table of contents


Admission requirements

  1. Bachelor of Health Science Major in Podiatry
    1. Applicants who do not meet Rule 2 Section 1 Clause (7)a must demonstrate English language proficiency by achieving an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) score of 7.0 in each subtest or equivalent as required by the Podiatry Board of Australia.
    2. An applicant who has completed a Certificate III qualification will not be admitted solely on the basis of this qualification.
  2. Bachelor of Health Science Major in Speech Pathology
    1. English proficiency is a requirement for all students. Applicants who do not meet Rule 2 Section 1 Clause (7)a must demonstrate English language proficiency by:
      • achieving an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) score of 7.5 (including a minimum of 8.0 in both speaking and listening modules and 7.0 in reading and writing); or
      • Achieving an International Second Language Proficiency Rating (ISLPR) score of at least 4+ in each of the four areas: speaking, listening, reading and writing.
    2. An applicant who has completed a Certificate III qualification will not be admitted solely on the basis of this qualification.

Course requirements

  1. Bachelor of Health Science Major in Podiatry
    To be eligible for the award of Bachelor of Health Science major in Podiatry a candidate shall successfully complete the equivalent of thirty two (32) units (or 384 credit points) comprising:
    1. All units listed in Part A;
    2. The Podiatry major listed in Part B; and
    3. One (1) elective unit from the University elective units.
  2. Bachelor of Health Science Major in Speech Pathology
    To be eligible for the award of Bachelor of Health Science major in Speech Pathology a candidate shall successfully complete the equivalent of thirty two (32) units (or 384 credit points) comprising:
    1. All units listed in Part A;
    2. The Speech Pathology major listed in Part B; and
    3. Two (2) elective units from the University elective units.

Progression in clinic-based units

  1. Candidates are not permitted to have an extended period of more than 18 months between study of any two (2) clinic units.
  2. Candidates are not permitted to have an extended period of more than 18 months between study of a theory unit that relates specifically to a particular clinic unit.
  3. Subsequent to Progression in clinic-based units requirements (a) and (b) above, candidates who have an interrupted study sequence of more than 18 months will be assessed on a case-by-case basis and may be required to undertake a specified supported professional experience placement to ensure clinic currency prior to continuation of the course. 

Advanced standing

  1. Candidates who have completed a Certificate III will not be granted any advanced standing solely on the basis of this qualification.
  2. Candidates who have completed the Bachelor of Clinical Science majoring in Pedorthics and Foot Care may be granted advanced standing for up to sixteen (16) units towards the Bachelor of Health Science majoring in Podiatry.

Schedule of units

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How to apply

Domestic students

International students

Confirm you meet the entry requirements including English language and academic entry and any specific pre-requisites.

Southern Cross University accepts applications directly through the International Application for Admissions form.

Additional information on how to apply is available at SCU International. Please note applicants from some countries need to go through an Education Agent.

The information on this page may be subject to change over time. Please check this page again before acting and see our disclaimer.

From the 1st of June, 2017, the term 'Distance Education' has been replaced with 'Online'